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Elvington Airfield

Elvington Airfield, York, YO41 4AU

RAF Elvington was originally a grass airfield but in the early 1940’s three main runways were constructed on it. The airfield re-opened in October 1942 as a station for the Halifax bombers of 77 Squadron. Almost 80 Halifax’s were lost in total during bombing raids over the Ruhr and Berlin.  

In May 1944 No. 77 Squadron was re-located and replaced by two French squadrons who played a leading part in the bombing of Germany with their Halifax’s. In September 1957 a memorial was unveiled at the side of the road in Elvington village dedicated to the two French squadrons.

In 1952 the airfield was enlarged for use by the United States Air Force. A new 1.92 mile runway was built which made it the largest in the north of England. A large hardstanding apron was also constructed. The airfield was planned as a base for B36 bombers to deliver their nuclear deterrent but the introduction of submarines with “Polaris” missiles meant the airfield never became operational as a Strategic Air Command base and it was abandoned by the USAF in 1958.

In the 1960’s RAF Elvington was used for test flights of the prototype Blackburn Buccaneer and it was also used by RAF flying training schools.

In June 1970 the Auto 66 club held the first of many motorcycle events at the airfield. In October 1970 Tony Densham set an official outright wheel driven record driving his “Commuter” dragster with 207.6 mph over the flying kilometre which beat Malcolm Campbell’s record set at Pendine Sands 43 years earlier.

RAF Elvington closed in 1992 and it was sold by the MOD in January 1999 on the condition that it is used for recreational activities such as motorsport, flying model aircraft etc. Straightliners has run a variety of events at Elvington including drag racing, top speed events, handling circuits, British records, Guinness World Records, World Wheelie records and FIM World records.

In the summer of 1998 Colin Fallows beat Richard Noble’s outright UK record at Elvington with 269 mph in his “Vampire” jet dragster. In July 2000 Colin increased the record to 300.3 mph and it has not been beaten since.

Contact Number: 07971 172210

Location: Halifax Way, Elvington, West Yorkshire, YO41 4AU, United Kingdom

Opening Times:
Open 8.30am – 5pm each day
Racing 10.30am – 5pm each day

Test Days:
March 14th
April 11th
May 23rd
June 20th
July 11th
August 1st
September 26th
October 10th

Record Events:
May 22nd/23rd
August 21st/22nd (Wheelies & Top Speed)September 25th/26th


Events at this venue